Each level is a new puzzle to solve in the name of intergalactic salvation when you play Joe Versus from Star Technologies. If you have a soft spot for humanity, or any other carbon-based life form, partner up with Joe, his daughter Olivia and her cat Cheeto to take down the evil alien.
While performing my iPhone app review, I found myself faced with a puzzle board covered in menacing tetrahedrons advancing towards my hapless avatar. It seems that Joe, a space barge pilot, had a little run in with an evil alien and now he has to figure out how to clear game boards of tetras from his barge or face the worst.
Use your avatar to place explosive charges on the board. Blowing up brown stone tetras or green toxic tetras is good form. You can even expand and arm the toxic tetras you explode to clear adjoining tetras. The red tetras need to go over the side though, so plan your charges carefully. Clear all the proper tetras without getting squished or pushed over the edge to win a level. That sounds simple enough, but tricky patterns and the ever-advancing wall of tetras makes the Joe Versus iPhone app challenging. Thankfully, self-preservation is a fabulous motivator.
There are several on-screen controls you will use while playing Joe Versus. Use the joystick control in the lower left-hand corner to move your avatar around the screen. When you are on a game place you would like to activate press the blue “Place” button in the lower right-hand corner of the screen. Tap the same button again to activate the charge, turning the space red.
The green “Toxic” button will come in handy when you destroy a toxic green tetra, use this tab to spread the toxic disease and arm all those spaces. The screen also has an option to speed up the pace and pause the game if you need a moment to reflect on your own mortality.
I appreciate Joe Versus for keeping controls to the periphery, but the buttons do take up a fair amount of the game board on my iPhone. I could see shrinking them a bit and asking players to be more precise in their motions to make it easier to see what’s coming.
There are some pretty interesting 3D graphics in Joe Versus. The introductory story line pages are animated and flanked with throw-back style green story text that I love. The mix of old and new style graphic design is interesting.
On the game board, the advancing tetras are perfectly menacing and ominous. The three players you can choose from, Joe, Olivia and Cheeto, have their own strengths and weaknesses. I wanted Cheeto to save the day, and thought his smaller size would be a boon, but he was so hard to see I swapped him out for Olivia. Girl power! Also, there is a bar covering part of the barge that makes it very difficult to see your character at times. This may be strategic but I got stuck and squished a time or two, making an already challenging game a bit frustrating.
Joe Versus iPhone app requires iOS 3.2 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.
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